Alabama vs. Tennessee is a game that dates back to back to 1901 and is referred to as "The Third Saturday in October. It is one of the best rivalries in the south and usually has championship implications on it. Let's just say this year not so much. UT was handed its 4th consectutive lost in the series after being bulldozed by the Crimson Tide 41-10.The Alabama offense had its way with Tennesse. Julio Jones shredded the Vols secondary for 12 catches and 221 yards receving (but failed to get a touchdown, weird huh?) and the Crimson Tide running backs combined for 210 yards. Trent Richardson finished with 119 yards on 12 carries and defending Heisman winner Mark Ingram had 14 carries for 88 yards.
The bright spots for far and few for the Vols.Tennessee was actually in this game in the first half. Matt Simms lead a drive at the end of the 2nd quarter that ended up with a field goal and UT went to the locker room down just 13-10. But their fortunes quickly turned in the 2nd half of play. The first play of the 3rd quarter for Alabama resulted in a 38-yard strike from Greg McElroy to Jones. The next play after Mark Ingram ran for a 12 yard gain, McElroy found Jones again for 19 yards.From there Mark Ingram punched it in and the game began to slide for the Vols from there. Michael Palardy missed a 52-yard field goal on the next possession. Alabama in turn scored on its next drive with a 65-yard rumble from Richardson.
The game was not in doubt after that. Tauren Poole ran for 117 yards and a score on 14 carries and looked especially strong in the first half game. Matt Simms finished 11 of 22 for 117 yards and one interception. Tennessee did have some big plays in the game including a 59 yard burst for Poole for a touchdown. That was the longest rush of the year for the Vols. UT would go on to have carries of 59, 15 and 13 yards on Bama. They just cannot sustain those drives enough to get scores out of them. Matt Simms as tough as he is, does not have the arm of most SEC quarterbacks. He can only make a limited amount of throws and thus limit the offense. The offensive line seems to be getting better every week and was very strong in the run game this game.
All in all, it is about what I anticipated this game to be. Alabama's talent and depth eventually took over as the game went on. UT fought a good battle but wasn't able to contain Bama's stable of athletes. It will take awhile and a few more good recruiting classes from Derek Dooley and staff to be able to compete with the Crimson Tide.